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Thread: Scored a Z7

  1. #1
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    Default Scored a Z7

    I found a Zephyr Z7 on Craigslist in Salt Lake City a mere 420 miles away from where I live. The ad was poorly written with very little information and the pictures gave me just enough info to make me curious, plus the car was listed for only $400.

    The ad was 30 days old so I took a chance and tried to contact the owner. Several days later after not hearing from the owner I gave up. Then out of the blue I received a response, they still had the car. I emailed asking a few questions, they were slow to respond and the answers were vague at best. The last question I asked was what kind of engine and transmission did it have. Finally a couple of days later they responded they didn't know but would send me a picture from under the hood. A day later the picture arrived, it was a 302 with an automatic. Finally we were getting someplace!

    After a couple more email exchanges I took a chance and a friend and I drove to SLC to look at the car. Turned out it's pretty decent, nice western car no rust except for surface rust here and there. Had some body filler in the right rear quarter up high but otherwise looked good. 302 auto, factory air conditioning, P/S, P/B and an AM 8 track radio!!!

    The car hadn't run in 8 months but we came prepared with gas, tools, spare battery and an air tank. Poured a couple of gallons of gas in the tank, a little in the carb, cranked it a few times and it fired right up! this deal was looking better all the time. The motor sounds rough but it runs and the transmission had all it's gears.

    I made the owners an offer, headed to a local UHaul dealer and rented an auto transport trailer. We loaded the car up and headed home all the time feeling better and better about the car.

    The Zephyr has some 78 and 79 features so I'm not sure what is going on with it. Odometer is showing 63,000. Door panels appear to be 79, has the later style hood prop rod.

    As you can see the car was built in July of 1978 in Kansas City. Looks like the DSO was Denver which makes sense.Name:  IMG_1325r.JPG
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    I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it as I have two other Futura's. Probably a restomod of some sorts but I don't like removing all that cool OEM equipment under the hood.

    The trouble with these cars in this condition is it's not worth restoring from an investment point of view, imho, so you build it for what you like.

    KellyAttachment 117093Attachment 117092Attachment 117091Attachment 117090Attachment 117089

  2. #2
    FEP Senior Member FuturaGuy's Avatar
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    Nice! If it were my car I'd put in an injected 5.0, keep the factory A/C (converted to R134a), and give it a good paint job. Good luck with it.

  3. #3

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    Shoulda hit me up. I would have gladly taken pictures or met the seller for ya.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
    Shoulda hit me up. I would have gladly taken pictures or met the seller for ya.
    I guess I need to use this forum network a little better. Appreciate the offer.

  5. #5
    FEP Power Member Fearnot's Avatar
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    Wow, great score! Look forward to seeing what you do with it. Always good to see another Z7/Futura being put back on the road.
    88 Turbo Coupe auto
    88 Turbo Coupe 5spd
    79 Fairmont Futura 4.6
    79 Capri RS - 2.3/5spd restomod
    80 Capri 5.0/5spd project
    79 Zephyr Z7 factory 5.0 sunroof
    79 Pace Car 5.0/5spd project
    85 LTD LX factory 5spd?(not documented)
    86 GT conv 5.0/5spd
    79 Pace Car 2.3/4spd - needs new home

  6. #6

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    What a deal! I'd restore to stock for two reasons: It's all there, and that's the least expensive route to go. And because it's so cool as equipped - picture that engine bay in factory detailed condition stealing admirers from the '57 Chevys and '69 Mach 1s.

  7. #7

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    VIN
    8 = 1978 model year
    K = Kansas City Assembly
    35 = Zephyr 2-dr Sport coupe (Z-7)
    F = 5.0L V8 engine
    550231 = 50,231st 1978 Mercury scheduled for production at Kansas City Assembly

    Door Tag
    Date - 07/78 = July 1978 scheduled build
    GVWR - 4177 = 4177 lbs gross vehicle weight rating
    GAWR Front - 2179 = 2179 lbs front gross axle weight rating
    GAWR Rear - 2016 = 2016 lbs rear gross axle weight rating
    F0034 = 34 lbs front accessory reserve load
    R0015 - 15 lbs rear accessory reserve load
    Color - 3GVW = Dark Blue Metallic exterior paint color (3G), Valino grain (V) White vinyl roof (W)
    DSO - 51 = Denver district sales office
    Body - 36R = Zephyr 2-dr Sport coupe (Z-7)
    Trim - HB = cloth & vinyl seating, flight bench front seat (H*), Wedgewood Blue interior color (B)
    Sch Date - 06G = July 6 scheduled build date
    Axle - B = 2:47:1 axle ratio, non-locking differential
    Trans - W = C4 automatic transmission
    A/C - A = manual air conditioner

    *with Interior Accent Group
    Last edited by FoxChassis; 12-03-2017 at 12:22 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for the Decode!

    I drove the car yesterday, what a surprise, it drives great. Brakes are good, A/C works too. Engine has a small lifter tick but it runs decent.

  9. #9

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    Yeah, I was gonna say, aren't those just the accent group door panels?

    Anyway, sweet score! I say swap out those ridiculous rear gears, give it whatever maintenance items it needs, maybe slap on a 4-barrel, and drive the heck out of it!
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  10. #10

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    With the 2.47 axle ratio and a 1:1 from the non od trans would put you almost the same final drive ratio as an aod with 3.08 gears.

    If I ever decide to go salt flat racing (a dream of mine since I was small) that 2.47 gear is almost the highest gear made. Suposedly there is a 2.26, but I think its an aftermarket only.

    But with the 2.47 ratio a top speed of over 167mph should be possible with 26" tall tires without rpms being too crazy.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  11. #11
    FEP Senior Member
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    THe 2.26 ratio was indeed a factory offering. I owned a 79 Z7 302 auto that came with the 2.26s. My 78 302 auto Fairmont 2 door sedan had the 2.47s, must have been a "Drag Pack" option.LOL
    1978 Fairmont 2 door sedan, 428CJ 4speed. 9.972ET@132.54mph. 1.29 60 foot
    1985 Mustang LX hatchback NHRA Stock Eliminator 302 4 speed best in legal trim 12.31@107 mph, but has gone 11.42@115 with aftermarket intake, carb, and iron Windsor Jr. heads.New for 2012! 331 cube SB Ford, AFR 185 heads, solid flat tappet cam, pump gas; 10.296ET@128.71 mph, 1.37 60 foot.
    1979 Zephyr Z7, all original 302 auto, 2nd owner.

  12. #12

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    Yes, 2.26:1 was factory. The only Ford literature that I have that covers axle ratios is Capri and Mustang and the 2.26:1 ratio was standard with the 1980-81 4.2L/255 V8.
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  13. #13

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    Absolutely ridiculous.

    For those of us who actually want to have some FUN on the street and don't care how our cars would do on the salt flats, anyway.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
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  14. #14

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    Or gas mileage.

    I get about 25mpg highway with 10% mix ethical gas at 75mph and about 28mpg at 65 mph.

    With that rear end I go do 80mph all day long and get about 30, maybe even 35mpg with a v-8.

    Not saying I only want to hyper mile, but I drive about 1k miles a week, sometimes more and sometimes less.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
    With that rear end I go do 80mph all day long...
    Yeah, but it takes you all of the previous day to get there.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  16. #16

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    Very true.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  17. #17
    FEP Super Member xctasy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxChassis View Post
    Yes, 2.26:1 was factory. The only Ford literature that I have that covers axle ratios is Capri and Mustang and the 2.26:1 ratio was standard with the 1980-81 4.2L/255 V8.
    The 4.2 was higher geared to get the 1.5 mpg fuel economy improvement at 55 mph, 25 mpg verses 23.5 or so on the 5.0. Ford gave the 1978-1979 5.0 less of a moonshot than the 4.2's.



    It was common for the reduced weight compact's to be geared that high. The tire placcard had BR70H14's less than 24.2 inches unloded, so the 2.26's weren't much different to, say,

    the 1969 250 Mustang sixes Economy Pack 2.47:1 9" axle with its 25 to 26" tall tires, 1750 rpm at 55 mph
    or the 70's Chevy Monza and Buick Skylarks H body 2.53:1 6.5" from 1971-1976 on BR70-13's, 2000 rpm .
    or the H body 7.5" ring gear ratios of 2.29 for 1977-1979 (1800 rpm at 55 mph on BR70-13's)

    The smaller tires were under the 31.5 mph per 1000 rpm in top that the 1981 Capri 4.2 C5 ran. So 75 mph was 2400 rpm, 85 mph, 2700 rpm. Any 255 could top out at 108 mph at 3400 rpm, the 2.47:1 5.0, 28.8 mph per 1000 rpm, could go well over 117 mph at 4100 rpm, 500 rpm over the peak power band.

    Its only the press and Firebird or Camaro owners who called 18.1 second 1/4 miles S-L-O-W (and 16.7 to 17.4 second 1/4 miles for the 5.0's in 4 speed and auto form)


    S-L-O-W was a 3 or 4 speed 3.3 Z7.......less than 91 MPH top speed, and greater than 19.07 over the 1/4 mile.

    31 mpg at 55mph, and 3000 rpm at 85 mph in top gear.


    The 1980-1981 SROD 3.3 was geared for 2.49:1 over all top, 1900 rpm at 55 mph
    the 1979 4 speed 5.0 in the Foxes was 2.16:1, 1700 rpm at 55 mph
    The 1986-87 3.08 T5 Mustangs were 2.10:1 over all in 5th. 1600 rpm at 55 mph
    The 86-87 2.73:1 5.0 T5 Mustangs were 1.86 over all with the wide ratio gearbox.1400 rpm at 55 mph.

    What was most sad was that the AOD never got yeomans sevice behind the 1980-1982 255's like it did in the bigger, heavier 80-82 Panthers and Sterling made 80-82 XR7 Cougar and 80-82 Thunderbirds. With a 0.67 top gear, that's 2.07:1 right there....1550 rpm

  18. #18
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    I'm thinking of removing the engine and transmission out of my Blue Futura and installing it in the Zephyr. 5.0 and AOD out of a 95 Explorer. Nice combination.
    My Blue Futura has a rough body, no rust but every panel on it has bondo including the roof! It is a 302, floor shift car. The previous owner replaced the taillights with some ugly homemade lenses.

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